Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ramp 'n Potatoes, Common Plantain Salad, Wild Morels

As part of the settling in/get things in order process, we had to install a new mail box that would stand tall, as opposed to the one we had which was listing 45 degrees on a skimpy metal one legged stand.  We decided on a monster of a box that would accommodate packages as well, being that we are 1/2 mile from the mailboxes and the mail delivery person is not keen on delivering packages up the rough mountain road.  Interestingly, during our dig for the post, we discovered a clearly beginning to decay sock...made me stop and think how the heck that thing got in that spot!
The rest of our day was occupied with many other settling in/getting things in order business.  But we also went on a hunting adventure for our dinner this evening. 

First, Common Plantains.   A wild edible high in calcium and vitamins A & C. We simply pulled at the stem to remove from the ground, cut the remainder of the stem once home, then washed and put into a bowl for a salad with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Delicious!  Tastes a bit acidic but with a very mildly pleasant flavor, like a green.  Unfortunately, I can't describe it further than that, but can say my tongue still remembers the acidity, not in a bad way, but definitely got our dose of vitamin C today!

Second, ramp.  Ramp has blood cleansing properties and is also high in vitamins A & C...I think we are well prepared for the cold snap that is predicted to hit tomorrow night!  We went hunting up into our property through the woods, not an easy climb, but worth the effort.  Johny discovered a patch of ramp near the creek.  Ramp is a wild onion, with a garlicky flavor.  Quite pungent when you harvest it, and a task at that.  The ramp grows with it's roots feeding new growth, so in order to harvest it, you have to dig deep.  This particular patch was on a steep grade of land, so it was tricky to dig, root it up, and successfully pull the plant in it's entirety, which is what you want, bulb and all (that's me holding my precious ramp!). 

We chose a simple recipe, potatoes with ramp cooked in bacon drippings.  I have to admit, I added the ramp too soon before the potatoes were cooked enough, so the ramp ended up a little overcooked.  But for those interest in something new, slice potatoes, cook them in bacon drippings (this is a traditional mountain recipe) until tender, then add the raw, cleaned cut ramps, bulb to stem leaf tip, into the pan for the last 5 minutes or so. 
Add salt and pepper to taste...scrumptious. 

The final piese de resistance for the evening was the morel mushrooms Johny had harvested yesterday.  Absolutely fabulous, cooked in just a bit of butter with salt and pepper, a real delicacy!  They taste mildly caramel-like to me, and are smooth and velvety when sauteed just slightly.  If you are a mushroom lover, and have never tried fresh morels, I suggest you endeavor to do so, you will not be disappointed. 

Finally, to close this post, I must share a beautiful Dogwood.  This photo is looking up into the tree, with the incredible blue sky backdrop...simple, clean, lovely!

Do you have any wild edible favorites you would like to share? 

I appreciate your interest!



Johny Alives said...

loved the potatoes and ramps - but my favorite was the ramp pie

Joanne said...

OK! You've convinced me - I am headed to our cabin Friday! :)